Jun 25, 2013

School Age Explorers: Mud & Worms

One hour? Four Stations...

I knew had a hunch that my station idea wasn't going to work, but really wanted to try it to keep kids (and me) on track for time. Why did I know it wasn't going to work? Kids play, learn and explore at different paces. This system would require them to stick together for about ten minutes and rotate to a new station at the same time. The system actually wasn't that bad and it did help to get all the kids to same tables at the same time, eventually!

At the beginning of the program I read Diary of a Worm by Doreen Conin.I was able to muster a few laughs and giggles, so will be reading again at our next School Age Explorers program. It also allowed time for stragglers to trickle in before I started explaining the different stations.
Station One: Mud Playdough (Non cook playdough recipe with cocoa for color)
Station Two: Sensory Worms (aka cooked spaghetti - I am sorry Head Start)

Station Three: Worm Painting (with cooked spaghetti- sorry again Head Start)
Final Station: Dirt cups with pudding, crushed oreos and gummy worms.
Oh how I wish I had taken a final picture at the end. It took over an hour to clean up the room and I was covered in flour from the playdough, but it was SUPER fun! The kids had a blast! The vaccuum got up most of the cooked pasta. I have been trained (by Head Start) that it is evil to waste food in front of kids who are starving. I'm sure there is something else I could have used like yarn for the worm paintings (now that I think about it). Not sure how I could have got around the sensory tubs unless I used REAL worms, which would then be cruelty to animals. . . so I just bit it and used the cooked pasta.

The station cards did work, but I messed up the order of the stations on the cards and this was VERY TRAUMATIC for some of the kids. I wanted them to rotate from librarian led activity to self-guided activity and had mislabeled the stations to make that impossible to happen. So I didn't go in the order of the cards and that caused a lot of chaos! I will diligently plan where I put the Station posters next time to allow the flow to follow the cards! So I do plan on using my stations and station cards next time now that I am more prepared for how they will work!

Supplies (for 25 kids)
Art Projects: 2 boxes of cooked spaghetti, paint & paper
Playdough: flour, vegetable oil, cocoa, & salt
Dirt cups: 8 boxes of chocolate pudding mix, 1/2 gallon of milk, 2 small conainers of oreos and 2 bags of gummy worms.

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